The name Marc Jacobs is synonymous with avant-garde and a streetwear twist. Labelled as “one of the world’s most influential designers”, the magic behind his brand stems from the fact that he does not follow the rules.
Jacob’s anti-establishment, anti-adult and anti-slick attitude is a cornerstone of his eponymous high-fashion label. His brand, marketed toward the urban woman, mixes downtown attitude with uptown glamour. The cool girls of the Red Carpet – from grunge to Louis Vuitton.
A True Successor
Marc Jacobs is one of the most exciting and talented American designers of his generation and has been for over two decades. Along with Tom Ford and Alexander Wang, he is one of the only true successors to the American fashion mantle of Calvin, Donna, and Ralph.
Once upon a time, Marc Jacobs was just a kid from a non-observant Jewish family in central New York. Jacob’s life has never been easy. Jacobs’ father died when he was seven years old, and his mother, who had been married three times, was mentally ill and mostly absent.
Jacobs moved away to live with his paternal grandmother by the time he was a teenager. This is where he finally got to experience the glitz and glamour, missing from his life since adolescence. In the late 1970’s, Jacobs was living in an apartment on the Upper West Side aptly named ‘The Majestic,’ just a stone’s throw away from NYC’s finest, and 1970’s New York had a lot to offer. In this time, outcasts flocked to the city for a fresh start, and it was revered for its dangerous, edgy, and exciting cultural tones.
During his years in Manhattan, Jacob’s interest in fashion grew the most. He attended the High School of Art and Design while also working as a stock-boy at Charivari, a clothing boutique. Charivari is dubbed the “cult boutique of cutting-edge fashion,” introducing avant-garde clothing to Manhattan’s previously unfashionable Upper West Side.
This is the process which helped to revolutionise fashion retail. Charivari began in humble circumstances, selling respectable clothing in a less-than-respectable neighbourhood. It was the ideal marriage of streets and culture. Its rise to prominence coincided with the Upper West Side’s gentrification. Jacobs was able to witness, first-hand, the powerful combination of street style and high fashion. And while the avant-garde boutique has long been defunct, its aesthetic has lived on through Jacob’s himself.
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